Violence Against Women of Color


From INCITE!,a national activist organization of radical feminists of color advancing a movement to end violence against women of color and our communities through direct action, critical dialogue and grassroots organizing:

What counts as “violence against women”?

INCITE! identifies “violence against women of color” as a combination of “violence directed at communities,” such as police violence, war, and colonialism, and “violence within communities,” such as rape and domestic violence. Continue reading

Five Musings on Mary Magdalene

mmThis piece was developed during the first Bartimaeus Institute Online Cohort (2015-2016), aka “The Feminary.”  These pieces will eventually be published in a Women’s Breviary collection.  For more information regarding the Feminary go here

By Adella Barrett

I sometimes wonder if Christ will always be an abstraction to me.
Some days I do not know much of him but that he, too, was tended by women, fed by them.
Some days I think of Mary Magdalene keeping the fire or cooking the fish,
the way she baked the bread and the way she was trusted,
and this
I can understand. Continue reading


rizpah.jpgThis piece was developed during the first Bartimaeus Institute Online Cohort (2015-2016), aka “The Feminary.”  These pieces will eventually be published in a Women’s Breviary collection.  For more information regarding the Feminary go here

By Adella Barrett

The king took the two sons of Rizpah…whom she bore to Saul…and the five sons of Merab… and gave them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they impaled them on the mountain before the Lord. The seven of them perished together. They were put to death in the first days of harvest, at the beginning of barley harvest. Then Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it on a rock for herself, from the beginning of harvest until rain fell on them from the heavens; she did not allow the birds of the air to come on the bodies by day, or the wild animals by night.

2 Samuel 21: 8-10

It was during the time of the dry winds,
the barley white for harvest, the apricot and almond trees in bloom.
It was when the land began to ripen,
when the hands of the people were ready for gathering,
that Rizpah lost her sons. Continue reading

To Connect Our Children to Black Faith

Kelly Brown DouglasFrom Kelly Brown Douglas in Stand Your Ground: Black Bodies and the Justice of God (2015):

To connect our black daughters and sons to the faith of their enslaved forebears is, therefore, to provide them with a faith that fosters self-definition and self-determination. It is to let them know they are created in the image of a God that is free from anything human beings can conceive or construct; thus, they too are meant to be free. Put simply, to connect our children to the black faith tradition is to give them the tools to know that “what white people say about [them]…what they do and cause [them] to endure, does not testify to [their] inferiority but to [white people’s] inhumanity and fear” (James Baldwin). To connect our children to black faith, therefore, is to provide them with a firm foundation on which to stand in the midst of the absurdities of black life without being overcome by them.

During one of her many speeches in her fight for black freedom, nineteenth-century black female activist Maria Stewart said this to her black audience, “Many think, because your skins are tinged with a sable hue, that you are an inferior race of beings; but God does not consider you as such. He hath formed and fashioned you in his own glorious image, and hath bestowed upon you reason and strong powers of intellect.” Maria Stewart clearly understood that if oppressed people are going to withstand the assaults against their lives and well-being then they must be equipped with the knowledge of their sacred humanity. This is why poet and essayist Audre Lorde says, “The true focus of revolutionary change is never merely the oppressive situations we week to escape, but that piece of the oppressor which is implanted deep within each of us.”


Finding our Voice

mary mToday on the Feast of Magdalene, we continue our biblical women series. This time with a male voice. But here Bill Wylie-Kellermann offers a sermon with Peter apologizing to Mary Magdalene.

John 20:1-18

There is a sweet irony, perhaps several, in St Peter’s hosting this service for the Feast of Mary Magdalene, one which makes this traditional gospel for the day more than appropriate.

John’s gospel is among the later to be written. The footrace, on the one hand so exuberant and on the other, so competitive, between Peter and John (or the other disciple) reflects within the text a certain struggle for leadership. Between Mary’s discovery of the empty tomb and her encounter with the Risen Lord, it poses the question: Who got there first? Well, John is fleeter and arrives first, but Peter entered in first, but then John looked around and was first to believe. Is this a carefully negotiated settlement or what? Continue reading

Mary and Martha

Mary-Martha-Lazarus.jpgBy Laurel Dykstra

Luke 10. 38-42

I don’t like the story of Mary and Martha.

Most of us already know if we are more like Mary, who sits at Jesus’ feet, or more like Martha, who is distracted by her many tasks. And it seems to me that no matter how nice they try to be about it, most of the sermons and commentaries on this passage seem to say, “Yay Mary and Boo Martha” Continue reading

10 Reasons I believe in the Sacrament of Marriage

weddingBy Lydia Wylie-Kellermann,
(first published on Converge’s website a couple years ago)

Lately, I have found myself in conversations with friends about relationships and commitment. I’ve been hearing them say, “We will be together as long as it works and if it stops working, then it will end.” There seems to be a distrust and even suspicion of the act of marriage. These are friends who have relationships I admire and who are clearly in it for the long haul. I trust their decision making and discernment, but it has made me pause to reflect on why we choose marriage.

1. Community

A marriage is rooted within a community. We prayed that our relationship would be a gift to the larger community and asking for the help of accountability and support when things are difficult. Continue reading